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MMA Board Provides Direction for Workforce Efforts

[MMA News Now, May 8, 2014] The MMA Board of Trustees approved several recommendations from the Primary Care Physician Workforce Expansion Advisory Task Force at its May 3 meeting that will guide the MMA’s efforts in addressing the looming primary care physician workforce shortage.

The task force’s recommendations include:
1.    Examining ways of increasing the number of available clinical training sites in Minnesota and examine ways of reducing barriers to allow more meaningful experiences for medical students.
2.    Addressing the high costs of medical school and the resulting debt by supporting loan forgiveness and loan repayment programs to primary care; and restore funding to levels equal to or greater than those of 2008.
3.    Supporting efforts to sustain beyond 2014, the Affordable Care Act required Medicaid payment bump for primary care, which increases primary care Medicaid rates to Medicare levels for 2013-2014.
4.    Examining the feasibility of seeking a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would provide for state management of GME distribution in Minnesota.
5.    Promoting the creation of a state medical education council to provide analysis and policy guidance on how Minnesota can meet its physician workforce objectives.
6.    Advocating that the 2011 Budget Control Act cuts to funding for Medicate-supported GME be restored and maintained at levels prior to the sequestration, and that the MMA take a leadership role in advocating for an adequate number of residency slots.
7.    Acknowledgment of the role that income plays in specialty choice and that primary care physician capacity could be improved if this disparity was addressed.  

For more details on the task force, visit the MMA website.

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